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Building hand and rod style puppets is a very fun and fairly inexpensive hobby. In this Instructable I used supplies that I picked up from the fabric store. Professional level puppets are usually made using reticulated foam structures and nylon fleece aka Antron fleece. These materials are much tougher to come by, so I recommend starting with something you won't feel bad for messing up on. Also, this project can be completed without a sewing machine. You don't need much more than needle and thread, scissors, and a knife.

Fabric store supplies:

~1yd 1/2" upholstery foam

~1yd anti-pill fleece

craft foam sheets

20g florist wire

needle and thread

Small bits of black and red felt

Hardware store:

Contact Cement

Optional stuff I bought on Amazon:

top stick toupee tape

20mm doll joints

Smooth On - Smoothcast 300

I will not go over designing the patterns for this puppet. That is a process I have yet to master! I used a head pattern that I purchased from James Kemp and free hand patterns from Project Puppet .

For mobile users here is the link to the Youtube video

Step 1: Constructing the Foam Head.

The main structure of a puppet is made entirely of 1/2" foam. I have been strictly working with upholstery foam because of its availability. It is far more dense than its professional brother: reticulated foam aka filter foam but the construction methods are the same. The only downside is that upholstery foam is a little less forgiving, so take your time when gluing the pieces together.

Start by tracing your pattern on the foam. Be sure to mirror your patterns for both sides of the head.

Using an insanely sharp razor, cut your patterns out. Take special care that your knife is perpendicular to the foam, an out-of-square cut can lead to wobbly puppets.

Once every piece is cut, use a scrap chunk of foam as a stippling applicator for your contact cement. I use Weldwood contact cement from the hardware store, but most pros use Barge cement, both work great. Apply glue conservatively to both surfaces that you plan to stick together. Contact cement only adheres to itself and only once it has dried to the touch, so let your glued pieces sit for a good ten minutes or so.

Now that your glue has dried a bit, start gluing the darts together on each piece, being sure to line everything up nice and even while allowing the foam to begin to curve to shape. Next, stick all the pieces together and you have a naked puppet skull!

<p>THIS IS SO COOL</p>
<p>Send me the PDF</p><p>zeena.mohamed@gsmst.org</p><p>thaks ;)</p>
<p>Really nice project ,love the puppet. Are the head and the body connected | sewn?</p><p>I have been also doing foam puppets .Mine have a hole in the back of the head for inserting the hand .</p>
thanks! the head is attached to a neck sleeve. I sew it on to the head opening and it goes inside the body and out the bottom a little. I use corset boning to hold the opening for your arm open. it's just sewn in to the fabric. hope that helps. I can send a pic later on.
<p>Awesome....</p>
<p>Wow awesome!</p>
<p>Great job !!  Thank s so much !!</p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>All I saw was the thumbnail and instantly knew who that was supposed to be. I'd say that's a pretty good sign of success. Great job.</p>
<p>Haha! Good! I really appreciate it! Ive been wondering if I got the look across.</p>
<p>I</p><p>I'd love to try my hand at this! Where can I get the patterns?</p>
<p>Projectpuppet.com has some great patterns for beginners. I purchased the head pattern for this puppet from JamesKempPuppets.com. I would love to see what you come up with!</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: My name is David and I make things... geeky things. I enjoy punk music, woodworking, graphic design, and screen printing. @gearboxdesigns (Instagram &amp; Facebook)
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